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New Hunger Games book announced — and another movie

For fans waiting for more stories out of the Hunger Games universe, the odds are definitely in their favor after a fifth novel and a new movie were announced by publisher Scholastic and Lionsgate Film on Thursday.

The new installment in author Suzanne Collins’s wildly popular series is titled “Sunrise on the Reaping,” and set to publish March 18 next year. The book is set in the fictional country Panem 24 years before the original trilogy, during the 50th Hunger Games, known in the lore as the Second Quarter Quell.

Collins said in a statement that her latest work dives “into the use of propaganda and the power of those who control the narrative” and added, “the question ‘real or not real’ seems more pressing to me every day.”

Like the four books before it, the new one is planned to be adapted into a movie scheduled for release in November 2026, the official Hunger Games account announced on X on Thursday — as fans were still digesting the news of a new novel. “Welcome to the Second Quarter Quell,” read the tweet.

“I will be waiting at the theaters tomorrow,” tweeted one of countless fans excited by the news. “I know it says 2026.”

Lionsgate has previously produced five films based on the first four novels, with one book, “Mockingjay,” spanning two movies. Collectively the films have grossed more than $3.3 billion worldwide in theatrical ticket sales, the production company said.

The four books in the Hunger Games series have sold more than 100 million copies since the first novel was published in 2008, according to Lionsgate. The first, “The Hunger Games,” was followed by “Catching Fire” in 2009 and “Mockingjay” in 2010. In 2020, Collins released a prequel to the trilogy titled “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes,” which was adapted into a film that was released in 2023.

The books are set in a totalitarian society, Panem, where people are randomly selected to compete in a deadly last-one-standing contest that takes place annually. Collins has said her writing was inspired by 18th-century Scottish philosopher David Hume and his idea of “implicit submission.”

The original trilogy centered on Katniss Everdeen, a young competitor. Spoilers: Her underdog victory inspired a rebellious movement to take down President Snow, the country’s tyrannical leader who helped develop the bloody competition.

It is unclear what story the new novel will tell, though combing through the history of the Hunger Games series offers a clue.

A “quarter quell” is a special edition of the Hunger Games tournament held every 25 years. The first two quarter quells haven’t been depicted on the page or screen, though they have been alluded to.

The winner of the “second quarter quell,” according to the lore, was Haymitch Abernathy, an adviser to Katniss and her teammate Peeta in the books. He was played by Woody Harrelson in the films. After Haymitch won the tournament, President Snow killed his family, driving him into alcoholism.

Little is known about Haymitch’s time in the tournament, though it was explained that the 50th-anniversary event had twice as many competitors as usual, and there were poisonous items all over the massive arena where the games take place.

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